Tokyo 2020 Time Trial

Amber Neben Headlines Olympic Time Trial with Fifth Place

By: Angelina Palermo  July 28, 2021

Chloe Dygert, Lawson Craddock, and Brandon McNulty also raced to beat the clock.

On a beautiful day in Shizuoka, Japan, riders took to the 22.1 kilometer Time Trial course beginning at the Fuji International Speedway. The women started the day riding one lap of the course, and then the men followed, doing two laps.

Two-time UCI Time Trial World Champion Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif.; Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling) started off the day for Team USA. In her third Olympic Games, she rode through the first time split with a time of 14:52.85, putting her in fifth. By the second split, she moved her way up to fourth but would finish fifth place on the day with a time of 31:26.13. She was only just eleven seconds out of a medal. Anna van der Breggen (NED) and Marlen Reusser (SUI) earned silver and bronze, respectively. Race winner, Annemiek van Vleuten (NED), finished in a time of 30:13.49.

Neben talked about her race strategy, explaining, “I wasn't wearing a radio, so I didn't know where I was. I was honestly just riding as hard as I could and leaving it out there. I just wanted to make sure I finished, and I didn't have anything that I regretted and that I didn't have anything that I wish I would have done differently,” she said. I was just putting it all out there. I went hard to the top. I knew that was a big check, and then I knew I was going to have to hang on a little bit on the downhill, then hit it again hard on the track. That was my strategy, and I did what I could today.”

When asked about not reaching the podium, Neben said, “I'm a little bit disappointed. I rode hard. I left it all out there. I was really hoping to medal today. It's hard when you're close but not quite there. No regrets. No complaints about my effort. It was good for today.”

Chloé Dygert on course during the Olympic Time Trial race. Photo: Casey Gibson

2019 UCI Time Trial World Champion Chloé Dygert (Brownsburg, Ind.; CANYON//SRAM Racing) was the next rider to hit the start house. The race was her first international Time Trial competition since her injury at the 2020 UCI World Championships. The U.S. Time Trial National Champion came through the first split 15:16.40, sitting in eighth place. She finished the race with a time of 32:29.89, placing her in seventh on the day. Dygert still has her sights set on a medal in her third event of the Olympic Games - the Team Pursuit.

Lawson Craddock (Houston; EF Education - Nippo) was the first Team USA member to roll out on course for the men. After 44.2 kilometers, the U.S. Time Trial National Champion averaged a speed of 41.5 kph finishing at 1:03:52.99, placing him 34th.

Brandon McNulty as he starts his race. Photo: Casey Gibson

Next up for the U.S. was Brandon McNulty (Phoenix; UAE Team Emirates). After McNulty’s stand-out performance in the Men’s Road Race on Saturday, the crowds were cheering for another break-out ride from the 23-year-old rider. McNulty finished 24th with a time of 59:57.73.

“This really wasn’t my day, and I wasn’t able to connect the dots. The first time split, I think I was good, and then I just couldn't sustain what I wanted to sustain. I think this season is starting to catch up on me.”

Primoz Roglic (SLO) won gold in the event, clocking a time of 55:04.19 with over a minute on silver medalist Tom Dumoulin (NED). Rohan Dennis (AUS) grabbed the bronze medal.

Up Next

Tomorrow marks the start of BMX Racing! Connor Fields (Henderson, Nev.; Chase Bicycles/ Monster Energy), Corben Sharrah (Tucson, Ariz.; Daylight Cycle Co.), Payton Ridenour (Pottstown; Penn.; Mongoose Bicycles), Felicia Stancil (Lake Villa, Ill.; Factory Answer SSquared), and Alise Willoughby (Saint Cloud, Minn.; Team Toyota/ GW Bicycles) will take the gate tomorrow at the Ariake Urban Sports Park and start with their quarter-finals. The next day, the riders will race their semi-finals, then on to the main events! In Rio 2016, Team USA walked away with two medals from the event with Fields and Alise Willoughby, who are looking to double down again this year!

USA Cycling relies on thousands of individual annual contributions from cyclists and other supporters of our mission to champion the sport of cycling in America. These contributions fund elite-level development so the Stars and Stripes shine on Olympic and other world-class podiums. They also support programs that get newcomers to the sport and the events that keep them there. Let's grow the sport of cycling together.